India Is The First Country To Reach The Moon’s South Pole

India became the first country to land an uncrewed probe near the moon’s south pole and the fourth country to reach the moon, after the U.S., the Soviet Union and China, reports the Associated Press.

On Wednesday, India managed to land the $75 million Chandrayaan-3 mission. The lander with a rover touched the lunar surface at 6:04 pm local time. The landing was celebrated across India, where space scientists were watching the landing.

The landing is a technological achievement but also an important milestone to place India among the global elite.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wanted to portray India as a rising superpower ahead of elections next year.

“India is now on the moon. India has reached the south pole of the moon — no other country has achieved that. We are witnessing history,” Modi said in South Africa, where he is participating in the BRICS summit.

The mission is expected to last another two weeks. The rover will conduct experiments and will analyze the mineral composition of the lunar surface.

The moon’s south pole hasn’t been explored before. Scientists believe that the permanently shadowed craters could hold frozen water that could help future crewed missions to the moon.

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